The Los Angeles Lakers seem to be in a great position after successfully retaining their star duo while swapping the bench with better players. All through the 2019-20 season, critics questioned their depth, and now Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka have some answers.
One of these additions was Wesley Matthews, the 6’4” NBA veteran who played his last season for the Milwaukee Bucks. With a wingspan of 6’9”, the Iron Man can take a lot under his strong armor. But what was his link with the Lakers even before officially joining them?
Apart from the Lakers’ great Eddie Jones being his all-time favorite player, Wesley also has a tie with the late legend Kobe Bryant. Back in 2015, while representing the Portland Trail Blazers, Wesley’s worst fears came true when he suffered an Achilles injury. That injury limited his season, and it was tough for him. That was when he received a surprising call from The Black Mamba, who had himself suffered from an Achilles tendon rupture in April 2013. Kobe’s experience with dealing with the injury helped Wesley overcome his own.
After his signing. Wesley had a message for the Lakers fans and said, “You’re getting someone that is ready to compete, and ready to make life hell on whoever they’re matched up with. I’m here to compete, I’m here to help raise a banner.”
Wesley’s competitive spirit is a definite green signal ahead of the season that is just weeks away.
Interestingly, his father Wes Matthews too played for the Lakers from 1986 to 1988 as a point guard. These were the same seasons when Magic Johnson led the franchise to back-to-back NBA titles. Hence, the Lakers were always on Wesley’s dream list. He later added, “Not only do I want to be the best undrafted player ever, but I want to have some hardware. You want to be wanted by the best.”
Coming from Marquette, Wesley has developed as a three-point shooter who had an accuracy north of 38%, very comparative to Danny Green’s average. He is not a go-to offense guy, but his catch-and-shoot is sound. The concerns for him will be the weak perimeter defense and inability to finish at the rim. However, his two-way play can secure him a position in the starting five alongside
It remains to be seen how well Wesley walks the talk after donning that iconic jersey.
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